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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  June 14, 2013 12:00am-1:01am PDT

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rather than countryside. more differences of appearance, more apparent difference in background, perhaps in values and politics as well. the challenge really remains to build unity out of differences. one from many. what's changed it is is growing, growing with it is the increased challenge of becoming one. and that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york. i'm chris hayes. and thank you for joining us. tonight on "all in," the white house says the so-called red line has been crossed by the syrian regime of bashar al assad. chemical weapons were used against rebel forces, and the drum beat for u.s. intervention grows louder. that's coming up. also tonight, the supreme
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court's fascinating ruling and surprising ruling today on whether multibillion dollar biotech companies can patent the very genetic information that makes up the human body. we'll talk about the ramifications for the future of science and the future of your health. plus, more than 40 people are arrested in dramatic early morning police raids. it's the latest exciting chapter in the chronicles of toronto mayor rob ford. do not miss that. but we begin tonight with one of those moments where you find yourself asking, how the heck did i end up agreeing with this guy? that guy. today, new battle lines were being drawn in washington where an increasingly passionate but deeply strange and confusing national debate is exploding over the issues of privacy, secrecy and security. when confronted with a conflict like this weighing privacy against national security, with much of the actual information about what's actually going on hidden from view, we often look to the people we trust as we
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form our own opinions and this is a perfectly natural way to sort through the news to look at where the people you trust are lining up and where the people you don't trust are lining up and say i think i'll go with the people i trust. which brings me to one person i do not trust. congressman louie gohmert from texas. louie gohmert is the perfect example of someone i do not want to be on the same side with. in fact, take a look at louie gohmert's warning this morning. here he is interrogating fbi director robert muller on the boston marathon bombing at a hearing. >> the fbi never canvassed boston, mass, until four days after the april 15th attacks. if the russians tell you that someone has been radicalized and you go check and see the mosque that they went to, then you get the articles of incorporation. >> your facts are not all together -- >> i point out specifically -- >> may i finish my -- >> point out specifically, sir,
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if you're going to call me a liar, you need to point out specifically where any facts are wrong. >> we went to the mosque. prior to boston. >> prior to boston? >> prior to boston happening, we were in that mosque talking to imam several months beforehand as part of our outreach efforts. >> louie gohmert yelling at robert muller essentially for not doing more to target and spy on boston muslims is a great example of why i do not trust louie gohmert. in fact, i have a general rule of life and politics that goes like this. if louie gohmert is for it, i'm against it. i think it's a pretty good rule. because you would be in really good shape on a whole host of issues if you conducted yourself by saying, if louie gohmert's for it, i'm against it. it works for progressive tax policy. >> jesus never said, use and abuse your taxing authority, take somebody else's money to help. >> louie gohmert rule worked for paid holidays. >> there are those who don't want people to mention the word christmas.
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just agree to give back the money because the money earned on a holiday shouldn't be taken for those who don't think it should be a holiday. >> and it worked for gay rights. >> when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that fine for homosexuality to be overt, they're toward their end of existence as a great nation. >> in fact, the louie gohmert rule is especially good policy when it comes to foiling terrorist plots. >> they would have young women who became pregnant would get them into the united states to have a baby. they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists and then 20, 30 years down the road, they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life. >> i do not support it. but here's the catch.
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louie gohmert, beraiting fbi director muller was louie gohmert's warning. a few hours later he was speaking in a different venue. >> louie gohmert, you may have thought that was someone else standing beside the aclu representative. >> that was louie gohmert speaking at a press conference this afternoon convened by senator paul rand to throw his support behind the legal challenge to the nsa allowing bulk collection of data on americans. standing next to him was indeed the aclu's laura murphy, in attendance, four house republic cabs including one who took the opportunity to announce he's about to introduce the liberty act, a bill he says is designed to protect americans against n sa surveillance programs, a bill he co-wrote with democrat john conyers who i'm guessing is like myself not accustomed to being on the same side as louie gohmert. but this is what this particular fight looks like.
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here's a look at the battle lines. on the one side, franken, who said the program is used to protect us along with republican lindsey graham who says he's sure we should be doing this and president obama who said the programs help us prevent terrorist attacks and also peter king who not only lines up with barack obama and al franken but laments too many republican and conservatives, i'm quoting, have become michael moores. on the other side of the fight you have michael moore. >> when i'm playing video of the president of freedom works, things have gone off the rails. how people feel about nsa surveillance is confusing at this point, some people simply
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figured out where they're supposed to be on the issue and renounced their previous views. a move the folks at media matters were moved to illustrate and put to music. how people feel about nsa surveillance is confusing at this point, some people simply figured out where they're supposed to be on the issue and renounced their previous views. a move the folks at media matters were moved to illustrate and put to music. >> our techniques are working. we have the nsa program here, the patriot act program here. in light of this, how close this
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was, it's staggering to me that we're even debating the use of these techniques. big brother is monitoring your every move, whether it be online, or on the telephone. >> let's talk about why this story, why is this important to you? these actions by the obama administration are clear, very clear violation of the fourth amendment. the constitution. it is our rule of law. if we do not respect and honor the constitution, then anarchy and tyranny. >> yeah, you cannot make that up. now, sean hannity's highly entertaining partisan aside, how you feel about government surveillance in the light of the nsa leaks is generally hard. if you're anything like me, the idea of finding yourself on the same side of an issue as gohmert is unsettling. that's fine. it's okay to feel weird about it. the very nature of debaing secret programs is we as citizens are forced to trust the people who have been briefed who know the inner details. when even they can't agree on what's legal or effective, you
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find yourself talked into some very strange company. joining me now, congressman gerald madler, democrat from new york. last year h he offered a proposal, that proposal was defeated by the judiciary committee. congressman, you are quite pointed in your critique of fbi director muller today. and i want to read you something that your colleague, james clyburn, told buzzfeed this week about the leaks. he says there is an attempt by several people to do political harm to this president. i just think this is part of that. i've gotten to where i am in politics but not without relying on my gut. my gut tells me there's an effort to embarrass the president. what to you make of congressman clyburn's interpretation of this? >> well, i give him the benefit of the doubt. any number of attempts to embarrass the president, any number of things by people who weren't too sincere and may be people criticizing this who aren't totally sincere, who are motivated by politics. but there is a lot to criticize here.
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i'd rather talk about the substance than people's motives. if people for political reasons want to do the right thing, that's better. >> so that, i think, to me is a big question. if you have real substantive concerns with some of the things that have been revealed, with some of the secrcy behind it. now the next plot point in this story is, is there going to be an actual coalition formed on capitol hill to have some congressional action? and that does depend on good faith. right. >> it depends if you can form coalitions with republicans that care about this and are not just grandstanding. >> there's a wing of the republican party which has been a fairly small wing, so-called libertarians. i think they're some war more in the current congress than the last few congresses who do care about these issues. they've been less than consistent. they cared less when george bush was in office than they do now. i'm glad to have their help and agreement. the fact is we oppose section 215 of the patriot act which
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gives the authority for this dragnet grabbing of all so-called metadata, all the electronic communications. we opposed it in 2002. we opposed it when it was renewed and opposed it again last year when it was renewed a second time. we were right to oppose it. if we're going to be joined by more people now, that's good for the country. >> what will it take for there to be a real breakthrough on capitol hill? because right now it seems to me that insider/outsider paradigm is pretty decent. those members of congress closest to intelligence oversight, both in the house intelligence committee and the senate intelligence committee, seem to be the ones defending most strenuously these programs and so my question is, how, what has to happen for things to actually change and move forward to actually rein in stuff statutorily? >> people have to begin to understand how intrusive this has gotten. i mean, when jim sensenbrenner who was the chief author of much of the patriot act including
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section 215 now says that they have misused and they've gone beyond what he anticipated, albeit, we warned that would happen ten years ago. fine. he says we have to now. that's progress. >> okay. that's a perfect example. here's what sensenbrenner said. he said as the author of the patriot act i'm extremely disturbed by an overbroad interpretation of the act. those are his words from a letter last week to attorney general eric holder. in 2006, he said, zero, that's the number of substantiated usa patriot civil liberties violation. found no violations despite many challenges. no federal court has declared unconstitutional any of the patriot provisions congress is renewing. my question is, can you work with james sensenbrenner? >> yes. we can certainly work with him as long as -- we can certainly work with him. how far we can remains to be seen. you have to assume at this point
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good faith. i hope it will be shown. and the fact is when he said seven years ago no courts declared anything unconstitutional, because of something else, namely the state secrets doctrine, you continue get into court. you lacked standing because you couldn't show you were being surveilled. with the revelation now, the aclu, found no standing to bring the suit years ago, because they couldn't prove they had been victims, now we know they, like everybody else, has been a victim. all of their metadata about all their phone calls and everything has been seized. they have standing. they can go and sue and they did file a lawsuit today. >> congressman naddler, thanks for joining us. joining us, howard fineman, editorial director of the "huffington post," and michael moynihan for "newsweek" and the "daily beast." how do you understand these divisions?
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there's a kind of neocon rand paul access on the republican side. how do you generally understand how the battle lines are shaping up? >> first i'm here to provide you with counseling, chris. i know you're confused here and justifiably. i would tell you to enjoy it. to embrace it. because it's unusual here for the labels to mean nothing. and i think it shows the depth of the issue that we're talking about. yes, there's the political gravitational pull of support or opposition to president obama. some of this is just, you know, i'm going to defend the president no matter what. some of it is i'm going to oppose the president no matter what. there's something much deeper here. there's certain ongoing arguments in american life that have been with us from the very beginning that go deeper than any party label.
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>> right. >> or ideological label. i wrote a whole book about this. i deliberately didn't use the words liberal and conservative for just that reason. and i tried not to use party labels wherever i could. and this is one of them. if not the most fundamental one which is about the relationship of the individual to the state with a capital "s" in america. >> particularly in the context of secrecy and surveillance. michael, is that how you understand it. >> exactly so. i think that's exactly right. i do have to disagree with congressman naddler who said the so-called libertarians. there were some actual very real libertarians. you saw some of them including matt that are using this as an opportunity, thankfully they are, to kind of push their power in the republican party. the sort of neocon strand of conservatism is essentially, you know, a long time ago we do have a -- >> serious. >> and i know, this is a democratic administration. so i think that that's essentially how it's shaking out. the sensenbrenner thing is, i hope that they can work together on this.
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but that is boldly partisan. >> the question for you is is the level of actual good faith gravity there is to that. because you actually have to believe in it to make this work. right? if it's your cheap point scoring, the easiest thing for you to do is issue press releasing or grandstand and actually do the work. my question for you as someone who observes this from a more sympathetic angle than i do whether that stuff is real that's there. >> i wrote a piece about this urging caution in the first couple of days because of the partisan instinct. there's a part dan instinct to say this guy is a hero and that's beyond the sort of democrat/republican divide. from the sort of civil liberties people which i'm very sympathetic to. you know, let's see how this information plays out. we don't know exactly what he, snowden, has given to whomever. we don't know this. we're waiting to see how this shakes out. waiting to see what prism is. what we know right now is deeply troubling. deeply troubling. people who have been briefed on this on the hill are also deeply troubled. >> we have some lawmakers today
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saying this is the tip of the iceberg. howard fineman, my favorite fight right now in the republican party is the actual genuine toxic venom and i think genuine, personal ill will that rand paul and ted cruz and mike lee feel toward john mccain and lindsey graham, vice versa. at this press conference today, here's matt kibby introducing a lindsey graham trolling project called sign the petition and demand senator lindsey graham reveal his e-mail passwords if lindsey graham is so eager to surrender our privacies as citizens he should go first. where is this going between those two wings in the senate? >> you put your finger on one part of the dynamic here. that is the very real war within the republican party. lindsey graham's up for re-election in south carolina. he's seen by many of the tea party types. ak libertarians if you want to call them that. as an embodiment of everything that's wrong with the republican party being too cooperative with obama, being too cooperative with the democrat, being insiders and so forth.
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so that's really a big part of this. >> also we're seeing that on national security issues and syria which we're going to talk about next. howard fineman, nbc news political analyst, michael moynihan from "newsweek" and "daily news." increased involvement in the syrian civil war. this could be the beginning of something big and scary. we'll get to that next.
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big, big news from the obama administration on syria tonight. this is very important. when we come back. le announcer ] your smile... every day you stain it... and stain it... and stain it. so every day, use crest 3d white toothpaste to remove up to 90% of surface stains in just 5 days. no wonder crest 3d white is the number one whitening brand. after all, every day counts. life opens up when you do. to rock a whiter smile in just two days, use these products together.
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the drum beat for united states intervention in syria has never been louder than it is tonight. just a couple of hours ago, the white house announced it had
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reached the conclusion with, quote, high confidence that the government of bashar al assad used chemical weapons in syria against opposition forces. according to ben rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, "the intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons, attacks in syria to date. however, casualty data is likely incomplete." rhodes went on to say the u.s. will provide military support to the syrian opposition but did not go into any more detail. so we don't know whether this could pave the way for u.s. to provide arms directly to the rebel army or something more even. much of the recent pressure for america intervention into syria has come from arizona republican senator john mccain who today on the senate floor said the decision to provide arms to the syrian opposition is not enough. >> the president of the united states had better understand that just supplying weapons is not going to change the equation on the ground of the balance of
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power. just to provide additional weapons to the syrian national army is not enough. >> also today, "politico" reported bill clinton in a closed-door meeting yesterday with mccain appeared to take the senator's side. some people say, okay, see what a big mess it is? stay out. i think it's a big mistake. i agree with you about this. sometimes it's bet to get caught trying as long as you don't overcommit. president obama said repeatedly the use of chemical weapons could cross a red line and spell a game changer for u.s. policy on syria. today the message out of the white house is the red line has indeed been crossed. joining me is congressman engel from new york. he's been a very outspoken critic of the assad regime. congressman, my first question to you, why do you understand this is happening now? >> well, i think there's a terrible humanitarian crisis
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right now. we've got 100,000 people murdered by the assad regime. 7 million displaced people. and 12 million refugees. and it's only going to get worse and worse. and if for no other reason than humanitarian reasons, we have to stop assad from murdering his own people. >> congressman, let me just interrupt right there. you said 100,000 murdered by the assad regime. my understanding is the death toll is around 93,000, includes all parties on all sides of the war. >> well, it's about 100,000. it's probably going to go higher. the fact of the matter is that this is a civil war in which the assad regime has been murdering its own people. and now we see that weapons were used, chemical weapons your used. the president said that would be a game changer and i think he's confirming that these weapons were used. so -- >> here's my question for you, congressman. the worry that i have, and i
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think a lot of americans share, is if the goal of this is to get rid of assad, which i understand is what the outcome that senator john mccain would like to see, i think everyone in the world if they could wave a magic wand, or everyone in u.s. politics if they could wave a magic wand would like to see assad go. if that's the goal, and this escalation of, say, arming the rebels doesn't work, have we not just put our foot in quicksand in which we must then continue to escalate? >> no, i don't think so. first of all, they are all bad choices. i don't mean to imply these choices are easy or these choices are good. i think, frankly, we should have armed the rebels many months ago and i have a bill in congress that would authorize the president to do just that. i think that we know who the well-vetted rebels are. the free syrian army. and we can get weapons to them and help to train them, to use them.
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this was done in libya with nato. and it can be done here as well. it's obviously a lot more difficult in syria for many reasons, but it can be done and it should be done. there's another reason here. you know, we have made it a policy, and the president has said it many times, he will not allow iran to have a nuclear allow iran to have a nuclear weapon on his watch. there's no doubt assad is iran's person in syria and collaborating with hezbollah which is a terrorist group that they are murdering people and moving on. >> congressman, when you mention the proxy war aspect of this, which i understand obviously hezbollah and iran have been supporting assad and that has actually turned the tide in much of the fighting. it looks like the momentum of the battle might be going in the other direction. to any i hear that and the justification to get involved in a proxy war seems even more dubious because it then seems like we have bound ourselves up into an even more complicated and inextricable conflict. >> well, what would you suggest
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that we sit by and do nothing and let assad and hezbollah and iran have access, murder more people and take over the country? i think from a humanitarian point, no other point, even, that there is a pressing need for nato and for the west to intervene, at least give the rebels the weapons that they can use to defend themselves. right now, it's a mismatch because they're getting all kinds of weapons from hezbollah, from iran. we can just sit idly by and watch more die but i don't think that's what we stand for. there are should be no boots on the ground. i'm not for any kind of involvement. >> that's my fear, congressman, precisely that. i think there's very little political will for it. recent polling shows is a 15% support military action. i hope when you and i have this conversation six months from now that we don't need boots on the ground because previous interventions don't work. congressman engel from new york. i appreciate it. you were my congressman growing up. >> you shouldn't have moved away.
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the zany adventures of toronto mayor rob ford. coming up next.
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what you are seeing behind me is footage of a massive police raid conducted in the dark of night. a swarm of more than 800 police officers, 800 descended on dozens of addresses in a toronto neighborhood. doors were kicked in. stun grenades were used. more than 40 were arrested. now, why am i telling you about this night raid? i'm telling you about it because
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it's the latest thrilling chapter in an unbelievable political scandal we cannot resist. >> there's breaking news regarding toronto's embattled mayor, rob ford. watch out for that camera. >> it's awesome. yes, this story unsurprisingly involves toronto's larger than life right wing mayor rob ford. the man who is allegedly seen smoking crack on a video recording and who gave one of the world's greatest nondenial denials about said crack smoking video. >> there's been a serious accusation from the "toronto star" that i use crack cocaine. i do not use crack cocaine nor am i an addict of crack cocaine. >> the story of the alleged crack video had gone cold lately. the video had not surfaced and one reporter was told it may be gone forever. but then this raid happened early this morning and the details painted a picture that dragged rob ford right back into the thick of things. 43 suspects were taken into custody. 39 warrant executed.
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40 firearms were seized as well as millions of dollars worth of narcotics. one of the addresses involved in this sting was the apartment that allegedly housed the videotape purportedly featuring the mayor. so obviously the first question on everyone's mind is whether the raid somehow involved mayor rob ford. >> mayor ford, what to you know about the raids that are happening today? >> no idea what you're talking about. >> mayor, have you spoken to the police about the raids? >> no, i haven't. >> do you have anything to say to the citizens of toronto about that? a press conference? >> it looked like mayor ford was going to stay mum on the whole thing until this news broke later in the morning. >> in the wake of this morning's massive predawn raids, ctv news learned toronto police were investigating the existence of alleged video involving mayor rob ford several weeks before the story first appeared in the "toronto star." >> what? in a development that resembles
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the wire by way of second city, many of the locations raided had been wiretapped as part of a nearly year-long investigation. according to ctv, on those wiretaps, persons of interest discussed that video in detail and referred to the mayor's alleged presence in the video. and although toronto's police chief would not comment on whether the evidence found in the raid included the infamous video, he ended with comments that probably caught mayor ford's attention. >> i want to assure people of toronto that all the evidence collected throughout the course of this investigation has been secure and it will be presented by the prosecuting crime attorney at trial. all of the evidence will come out in court where it belongs. >> in court. i don't want to overinterpret what the police chief was saying but it didn't sound -- it was fairly easy to see how this news is weighing on him. >> mayor ford? mayor ford?
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ctv news learned the toronto police were investigating the kpis terst of a video -- >> i've answered so many questions. you can't get it through your thick skulls. seriously? i've already answered all these questions. >> what do you have to say about these new developments? >> doing their work. that's it. let's go. >> fine. go ahead. >> what do you have to say for yourself? >> in what could be the official exclamation point on rob ford's very, very bad day a photo was tweeted by don pete of the "toronto sun" showing mayor foard sitting in solitude on the phone on a city hall staircase. if you're like me at this point you might be starting to feel bad for the guy. i mean, life does not seem too good for mayor ford right now and feels almost sadistic watching him squirm in front of the cameras. but then you find out what rob ford was actually doing today in his capacity as mayor. those feelings quickly melt away. you see, rob ford actually had legislative business to attend to today. there was a vote on grants to fund cultural organizations.
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groups like pride, the city's gay and lesbian alliance, and other cultural organizations. the annual totaling $72 were approved 42-3. stay classy, rob ford. you're giving us plenty of reasons to keep watching what happens next. we'll be right back. >> this has been a breaking news report featuring toronto mayor rob ford and a moose. they got you.
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what does angelina jolie have to do with a supreme court decision that was issued today? i will tell you coming up. but first, i want to share the three awesomest things on the internet today beginning with a childhood staple now thought of as a source of anxiety. attention, people of earth, your legos are getting angrier. happy face legos apparently once ruled the world. one researcher in new zealand found the number of happy face
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legos has been decreasing since the 1990s. meanwhile, the number of angry faces has increased. i bet it has something to do with grunge music. we here at click 3 are more worried this is contributing to the shocking rise of lego on lego crime on youtube these days. the second awesomest thing on the internet today comes to us from turkey. protests continue on the streets of istanbul and across country. one truly remarkable thing about these anti-government demonstrations is how the protesters are finding new and creative ways of making their voices heard from sneaking in protest words into a turkish game show, enlisting man's best friend in the fight, which brings me to this video uploaded on youtube accompanied by this title. you may not recognize the words written in turkish, but the song you're about to hear might sound quite familiar. ♪ singing a song of everything ♪ when the beating of your heart
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echos the beating of the drums ♪ >> they actually sang "les mis" on the barricades. hugh jackson stop spending his time at shareholders meetings and travel to turkey to lead them in an encore. third, the golden era of beauty pageants in the 1950s and 1960s. a previously unknowned competition has been unearth and could rival miss america. there she is miss national security agency. the nsa's own once secret archives revealed this photo by an interactive timeline celebrating the agency's cryptologic heritage. it held a miss nsa contest in the '50s and '60s.
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instead of being identified by states or hometowns, competitors were identified by numbers. she breaks hearts and possibly codes. watch out, america, this little lady does surveillance with a smile. everyone loves this gal for her killer personality. well, actually that's classified. little else is known about the contest like how test judged or who could compete. as the "atlantic" points out, the nsa would tell you but would have to spray can you or maybe just kill you. i kid, i kid nsa. i know you're listening. find the links for today's click 3 allinwithchris.com. we'll be right back.
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thanks to a "new york times" op-ped we've been hearing a lot about angelina jolie, a mutation of certain genes that increases her risk of breast cancer. she has a preventative double mastectomy. we all have these genes, and today, today the supreme court decided whether you get a patent on those human genes. today the supreme court decided whether you could get a patent on finding something that already exists in nature and in an incredible unanimous decision, the supreme court said, no. no, you can't. this is good news because this decision could have far ranging positive effects on both scientific research and the cost of new medical tests. today's decision was authored by justice clarence thomas in a unanimous 9-0 decision with
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justice scalia concurring, held, a nationally concurring dna segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated. the court held synthetic dna are still patentable. this ruling is very important because as the court laid out genes are the basis of our hereditary traits. each gene is encoded as dna which takes the shape of the familiar double helex. in the 1990s a company did something groundbreaking and powerful and terrifying all at once. it found the exact location and sequence of brca1 and brca2 genes. it was able to determine the gene's composition and made it possible to find mutations such as the ones that increase the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. myriad developed tests to detect those mutations. no one was challenging the exclusive rights to the tests it's developed but since the 1990s myriad had a patent on those.
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when companies create tests to compete with myriad's, they were slapped with patent infringement suits. for decades the u.s. patent office has been granting similar patents. today the supreme court set that aside and said no more. joining me now is congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz, democrat of florida. congresswoman schultz knows firsthand. congresswoman, you've been on this case. what's your reaction to the court's decision today? >> you know, when i got the news about the 9-0 decision, i was in an appropriations markup and it was pretty hard for me to hold it together, chris. you know, i am someone who had to go and make a life altering decision. i went through a year of seven surgeries based on the results of one test that when i asked how reliable it was was assured it was 100%.
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when i asked if i could get a second opinion before i had a double mastectomy and my ovaries removed and reconstructive surgery, i was told that i couldn't have a second opinion because there was a company that had a patent on the gene and the test and they were the only ones that could do it. and that is so -- was so disturbing and that someone, that a company could patent my genes and prevent me from being able to make a full decision based on as much information as i could get. >> so what you're saying, there was no second opinion because no one else, because there was a monopoly on testing for this mutation because they had successfully patented the gene, itself. the gene mutation. >> that's right. no other company was able to create a test to determine whether or not you had that gene mutation. only myriad could. and now after that supreme court decision, today, other companies can, and a company today announced that they were going to be licensing a test and
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already it's $1,300 less than myriad's test. they priced it apparently at $2,200. so it's already made testing for that brca genetic mutation more affordable. >> the supreme court decision some time -- >> in 12 hours. >> that's amazing. today, after the court decided, another company said we're in that market and we're going to come in with a lower price now that there's no longer a monopoly on this. >> already. today if i was diagnosed with breast cancer and asked for that second opinion, the answer would be yes, i could get one and maybe, maybe my decision would have been different with more information. >> congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> thank you. >> congrats on the victory. >> thank you. i'll be right back with the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the supreme court case and medical ethesist dr. emanuel. ? as soon as you feel it, try miralax. it works differently than other laxatives.
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joining me now is sandra parks, staff attorney with the aclu women's rights project. she represented the plaintiffs in supreme court case. dr. ezekiel emanuel. medical ethicist at the university of pennsylvania. also author of the book "brothers emanuel: a memoir of an american family." you've been working on this case for six year, i understand? >> yes, we filed a case four years ago, but before that for a few years we were studying the issue. this is the first patent lawsuit the aclu has ever brought. we wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing. >> here's my question. if you're a layperson watching this, it's shocking that this would even have to be decided by the supreme court. because it just seems just ridiculous anyone could patent a gene. how did we get here to begin with? >> the supreme court agreed with common sense. >> which is surprising, why we're talking about it. >> for 30 years the patent office has been issuing patents on human gene, on many, many thousands of genes of the genome
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and that has been a barrier for all sorts of laboratory scientists who want to do research on specific genes and provide testing on those genes. the justification, once you remove the gene from the body, they say it's a new invention and our argument was, no, simply removing iron from the rock or removing a kidney from the body would not make that -- >> you can't patent a kidney just because you can take it out of someone. the first person who operated on someone and took a kidney out couldn't walk that kidney over to the patent office, plunk it on the table and say, i got a patent on that. >> myriad's attorney thought lithium, of the periodic table, would be patentable for the first person who found it. that was the extent of their argument. they were going that far saying you could patent anything you find in nature. >> dr. emanuel, one of the things left open in the decision by the supreme court is synthetic dna can be papatented. i do not understand what that means. explain to me what kind of brave new world future has been left
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open in this unanimous decision. >> so on the dna that's in all of our cells, a gene doesn't come out as a discreet unit. it's broken into up parts. there might be six, seven, eight different parts with in between what's called nonsense dna. and then what scientists can do is they can get rid of the nonsense dna between those pieces and then get the gene in one clump. that process, creating the gene in one clump, taking out the nonsense dna that's between those parts, that nonsense dna is called introns. that can be patented because they're actually manipulating the dna. that's a -- i think it's going to turn out to be a minor victory for myriad but nothing like getting or loing the right to patent a gene of the human being because other people will be able to make different kind of complementary dnas and that
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will not, i think, be a barrier to creating other genetic tests on the same gene. and i don't want to correct -- you know, far be it for me to correct the congresswoman, but actually another company, a third company has come out and said they're going to offer the test for under $1,000. >> wow. >> soon. so we're already seeing competition. myriad's response was, oh, they have scale, they have -- they can do it more efficiently. they might be able to do it more efficiently, but when they own the gene, they were able to charge monopoly prices keeping the total cost of the test up about $3,300, $3,400. this is really good news for consumers. >> and that gets to the legal question here is whether something is discovered or invented basically. right? i'm oversimplifying. that's sort of the line, right? a thing you discover, you can't patent. a thing you invent, you can. we want to give people patents. it's found in the constitution
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give them incentive to come up with new stuff. one of the things dr. emanuel pointed to right now is how much power and money you grant to a corporation when you give them a patent on anything. >> that's true, but i think the patents on the genes were so troubling because the gene is the fundamental thing that scientists want to work with. it's a part of our body. it tells us about our own risk, our parents' risk for various diseases. and so being able to lock up that element of human biology created this barrier for all of the follow-up innovation we want to see happen. >> doctor, do you think we're going to see more innovation in this area now that this has been returned to the commons where it should be? >> you're certainly going to see more tests for this particular genetic defect. so that is presumably going to actually stimulate more competition and more research. i think the big claim by people like myriad genetics and others is, well no one will try to find the gene, but that's wrong. as long as you can find the gene and then go on and make a copy dna and get a patent on that,
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and then get your test out first, i think there's still good financial incentive. it should be said a patent is not unlimited amount of time. most of the myriad patents were going to expire in a couple of years anyhow. the net loss to them in terms of money is probably low just because it's taken so long to come to this decision. the funny thing is, it does seem to obvious and yet, you know, over time it's now really taken -- >> 30 years. >> 30 years. >> what i'm hearing at the table here, i think what i'm learning from you and from hearing this is actually the bigger deal here, not just for consumers on the specific test which actually means a huge amount to tons of women out there, vital and expensive and important, but also unlocking a whole vast library of knowledge that has been difficult to navigate because of the patent system. sandra part with the aclu. dr. ezekiel emanuel. "the rachel maddow show" begins right now. good evening, rachel.
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good evening, chris, can i see you again in a minute or two? >> that sounds wonderful. >> thank you at home for staying with us this hour. there's a lot going on today particularly in republican politics. in washington and virginia and a little bit in wisconsin, too. we're going to have all those news stories coming up. plus there's new news on guns. and we have got a best new thing in the world today that makes me very happy. we have a lot ahead over the course of this hour including as you just heard we will be bringing back the one and only chris hayes in just a few minutes as my guest. we need to start tonight with breaking news coming out of the white house. within the last couple of hours, high ranking white house officials have announced it is now the official position of our government, of the u.s. government, that syria's president bashar al assad has used chemical weapons against the opposition forces in his country. president obama has long said that chemical weapons would be a red line. that the syrian regime should not cross. since the government has now concluded that they apparently

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